Mr Chris Knifton

Job: Senior Lecturer in Dementia, Learning Disability, Mental Health

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Nursing and Midwifery

Research group(s): Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0)116 2013 855

E: cknifton@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/nursingandmidwifery

 

Personal profile

Chris Knifiton Current work (both research and teaching) is in the field of dementia.    This includes not only basic awareness training, but also more advanced work on specific interventions, co-morbidities and care practices.   

Chris's current doctoral work is on the sociology of dementia.  Chris also teaches mental health problems experienced by people with a learning disability, including assessment, diagnosis, treatment options and care management.  

A final area of interest is on diversity, where Chris teaches equality and diversity legislation and practice.

Research group affiliations

    Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre

    Publications and outputs 

    • A history of problematizations for dementia education: A Foucauldian approach to understanding the framing of dementia
      A history of problematizations for dementia education: A Foucauldian approach to understanding the framing of dementia Knifton, Chris; Yates, Scott Debates relevant to both undergraduate and postgraduate nurse education regarding the conceptualisation and disciplinary ownership of dementia, include its framing as a neuro-psychiatric condition, terminal illness or a consequence of aging are important in supporting an understanding of the lived experience of dementia for individuals and their family carers and how, as a condition, it has come to be problematized in Western society. The work of Michel Foucault is useful in setting this debate within a critical historical context. Aims: Using Foucault’s “history of problematizations” we present such debates around dementia’s conceptualisation in Western society and consider how a Foucauldian critical historical project influences nursing education by re-examining the problematization of dementia within society, what it is to be a person with dementia, and how alternative conceptualisations shape how we see the condition – aswell as how we provide learning opportunities for dementia care professionals. Results: Six differing ways of conceptualising or problematizing dementia were found (as a natural consequence of aging, a mental disorder, a bio-medical disease, a neuro-cognitive disorder, a disability and a terminal illness) each offering alternative ways we might present it in an educational context. Conclusion: We argue for both undergraduate and postgraduate student nurses to engage in learning that locates what it is to be a person with dementia within particular conceptual frameworks would allow understanding of how these ideas or constructs are reliant on historically-contingent assumptions. Here, taken-for-granted assumptions are unsettled and a more critically reflective position is adopted. This will have impact on the type of nurse to emerge from educational institutions thus also affecting service delivery and the dementia care provided, aswell as the knock-on effects for dementia education in other medical, health and social care courses and for institutions whose role it is to approve professional practice curricula content. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
    • Dementia education in Higher Education Institutions, now and in the future: the role of the professional regulatory bodies in the UK
      Dementia education in Higher Education Institutions, now and in the future: the role of the professional regulatory bodies in the UK Knifton, Chris; Macrae, R.; Jack-Waugh, A.; Brown, M.; Surr, C.; Thompson, R.; Baillie, L. Dementia is a global challenge and educating and upskilling the workforce is a policy imperative. A World Health Organisation priority area is the development of dementia knowledge and skills amongst health and social care professionals. The European Parliament has called for European countries to develop action plans and create common guidelines to provide education and training to professionals caring for people with dementia and their family caregivers. The inconsistencies and gaps in dementia education have been repeatedly highlighted internationally as well as in the United Kingdom (UK); this is despite the four home nations having voluntary frameworks and guidelines for dementia education. This perspectives article on dementia education is written by representatives of the Higher Education Dementia Network (HEDN), a well-established group of academics involved in dementia education and research in over 65 Higher Education Institutions across the UK. HEDN works collaboratively with Dementia UK to promote consistent, high quality dementia education and share best practice. At HEDN we believe that reference to the knowledge and skills frameworks of the four nations within Professional Regulatory Body (PRB) requirements would ensure a more rigorous and consistent approach to dementia education across the UK. Reference to the Frameworks would support their adoption as a required and monitored sector minimum standard across professional boundaries. HEDN therefore recommends that application of the knowledge and skills within these frameworks becomes a requirement for (re)validation/approval of relevant health, social and housing professional programmes. In this article we explain the rationale behind the recommendations made by HEDN and the implications for PRBs and Higher Education Institutions. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
    • Suicide risk in informal carers of people living with dementia
      Suicide risk in informal carers of people living with dementia Chamberlaine, L.; Anderson, C.; Knifton, Chris; Madden, G. With an ageing population comes an increasing risk of illnesses such as dementia and a growing need for care. There are 670,000 informal, unpaid carers in the UK, reducing costs for health and social care services but presenting other concerns for healthcare professionals. Carer burden and carer stress are well-documented concepts, and can lead to depression and a risk of suicide in some individuals. It is important that this risk is considered when supporting informal carers of people living with dementia. Admiral Nurses work with families living with dementia to provide the one-to-one support and expert guidance they need to manage. This article discusses a case study that highlights how caring can affect an individual, leading to thoughts of suicide. It also demonstrates how an Admiral Nurse could support the carer in a relationship-centred way, using appropriate interventions to avoid crisis. The article offers implications for practice and provides recommendations for nurses working in this field. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
    • Selecting absorbent continence pads for people with dementia
      Selecting absorbent continence pads for people with dementia Brown, Jayne; Knifton, Chris Incontinence is a common problem in people with dementia and can be due to a complex combination of physical and functional issues. This article reports on a product evaluation of pant-style continence pads, which found they could help promote dignity and independence in care home residents who had mild to moderate dementia. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the URI link.
    • An exploration of the experience of using the TENA Pants product compared to usual continence products as perceived by carers of people with dementia in care homes
      An exploration of the experience of using the TENA Pants product compared to usual continence products as perceived by carers of people with dementia in care homes Knifton, Chris; Bell, Katie; Padley, Wendy; Brown, Jayne Abstract: Incontinence is a common symptom experienced by many older people with dementia, with an increased prevalence noted in care home settings when compared to community dwellings. Incontinence may often be a reason for care home admission. Absorbent continence pads are a common form of intervention with this client group. However, disposable continence pants are becoming more common and TENA Pants are one such example. Research Aim: To understand what are the key product satisfaction indicators for absorbent continence pads; and in light of this review the experience of using the TENA Pants product compared to currently used continence products with people with dementia in care homes. Methods: A review of the literature was undertaken to identify factors reported to affect user experience of absorbent continence pads. These results led to the development of a pre and post carer intervention questionnaire that focused on user satisfaction, which together with a semi-structured interview, reviewed a 4 week user trial of the TENA pull-up pants. Findings: Overall, high satisfaction levels with the product were recorded suggesting this to be a suitable continence product for people with dementia residing in care homes. However, the qualitative data showed that satisfaction with the pads was greatest when used with people in the early and mid-stages of disease progression. Three key factors were found to account for the highest percentage of satisfaction and as such are likely to become key predictor variables for good quality and satisfaction when developing absorbent continence pads for this client group, as well as key points for product development and marketing. These were: • Absorbent pads are comfortable to wear when they are dry • Absorbent pads need to be designed so they can be easily fitted and removed • Absorbent pads need to control odour well • Considerations for further research in this area are also discussed.
    • Services for people with a learning disability and mental health disorder
      Services for people with a learning disability and mental health disorder Knifton, Chris; Postance, Richard; Hemel, Dot N/A
    • Dementia education in higher education institutions
      Dementia education in higher education institutions Knifton, Chris; Collier, E.; Surr, C. Higher Education Dementia Network
    • Making a difference in dementia education: developing a consistent and inclusive approach for all
      Making a difference in dementia education: developing a consistent and inclusive approach for all Knifton, Chris; Thompson, R.; Tullo, E.; Waugh, E.; Surr, C.; Read, K.; Innes, A. Higher Education Dementia Network Other universities
    • Learning disability nurse survival guide: common questions and answers for learning disability nursing.
      Learning disability nurse survival guide: common questions and answers for learning disability nursing. Dalby, Dave; Knifton, Chris
    • Professional and legal responsibilities.
      Professional and legal responsibilities. Ford, Karen; Geary, Martyn; Genders, Nicky; Knifton, Chris; Law, Annie; Power, Kevin J.; Rigby, Paul

    Click here to view a full listing of Chris Knifton's publications and outputs.

    Research interests/expertise

    • Dementia

    Areas of teaching

    •  Dementia
    •  Learning disability
    •  Equality Act 2010
    •  Diversity
    •  Mental health in people with a learning disability
    •  Clinical skills
    •  Advanced communication skills

    Qualifications

    • MSc Dementia Care
    • MSc International Relations
    • MA Social Work
    • PGC(H)E Higher Education Teaching
    • LLB (Hons) Law degree
    • BSc (Hons) Sociology degree
    • Dip SW Social Work diploma
    • RNLD registered learning disability nurse
    • DCM – Adv – advanced dementia care Mapper
    • Diploma in counselling psychology and psychotherapy

    Courses taught

    • NMAH 3346 Learning Disability and Mental Ill Health
    • NMAH 3320 Dementia Care
    • NURS 1001 Skills and Knowledge for Professional Practice

    Honours and awards

    SBStJ, order of chivalry presented on behalf of HM Queen Elisabeth II based on my voluntary work with young people.

    Membership of professional associations and societies

    HEDN – Higher Education Dementia Network

    Professional esteem indicators

    •  Australasian journal of ageing
    •  Diversity in Health and Social care

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